Artist of the Month: February 2019
Eve Claire Taylor
1. How long have you been at Phoenix?
Just over 3 years.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
My current project is working on some enamelled items for a class I will be teaching at Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex this year. During my last two years at West Dean College where I studied metal conservation. I found a work placement which included working for six weeks in Fishbourne at the Palace with copper and bronze archaeological items. One of the 2000-year-old artefacts I conserved was a roman seal box lid. These small delicately enamelled boxes were believed to have been used by the Romans in their postal system. Each tiny box 1.5cm radius was filled with wax, stamped with sender’s seal and attached to the parchment or leather coinage pouch to ensure that it reached its destination. My suggestion to Fishbourne, which is not only a re-discovered Palace for many visiting tourists, is also a hive of educational activity with many volunteers conserving the ancient tiles and mosaics, was to re-create some seal box lids in a similar way and design technique to highlight Roman craft. I teach enamelling myself and found this an apt opportunity to talk about ancient craft which is still very much thriving in today’s world of mass on-line media culture.
I am also starting a new collection of jewellery for this year’s Sussex Guild Shows. I have been exhibiting with the Guild now for 8 years.
3. Which media do you like to use?
Precious metals, gold leaf and foil, silver, copper and copper alloys, steel, glass in the form of enamel, wire and sheet. Precious and semi-precious stones, shells and mother of pearl.
4. Which other artists do you admire?
There are many, 2D and 3D artists I admire. Amongst metal workers, silversmiths and mixed media artists these few came to mind Theresa Nguyen (silversmith), Jane Short (enameller), Klimt, Albert Paley, American goldsmith/ blacksmith, Alphonse Mucha, Lalique and Archibald Knox who feed my constant admiration for the Art Nouveau period.
5. What would you recommend to go see?
The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery at the V&A.
This displays jewellery from ancient times to present day.
6. What work are you most proud of?
Candlestick – Bringer of Light
This piece was made for an exhibition with The Contemporary British Silversmiths in conjunction with the V&A's exhibition, British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age.
I am proud of this as it was something I didn’t think would be possible to make within the 6-week deadline at my Red Herring Studio in Hove. The making techniques were not too familiar with me and pretty stressful to do at the time – a learning curve definitely! Happy to have been able to display with 43 other silversmiths at the V&A.